Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Japan Women's Soccer Team Heads To 2012 Olympics

Thanks to its own dominant play, and a loss by China's Steel Roses at home to Australia, 1-0, Japan's Women's soccer team - the Nadeshiko - has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

The loss by Japan guarantees that Japan will advance, as only the top two teams move on to the Olympics in this the final Asian qualifying tournament being held at Jinan, China.

Earlier, on Thursday, September 8th, Japan played to a 1-1 draw against North Korea. Despite the tie, 
Japan sits in first place in the six team standings with 10 points and a 3W, 1D, 0L record - two points ahead of North Korea at 2W, 2D, 0L. Australia with the win now has six points and is in third with a 2W, 2L record, while China drops down to fourth place with five points and 1W, 2D, 1L. South Korea at 1W, 1D, 2L  and Thailand at 0W, 4L have already been eliminated. 

In Japan's match against North Korea, the Japanese were badly outplayed.

Japan had opened the scoring in the 83rd minute when Nagasato Yuki took a shot that first deflected off North Korea keeper Jo Yun Mi and then off fullback Kim Nam Hui before finding the back of the net.

Despite having the win in the bag, Japan faltered two minutes into stoppage time, when Kim Jo Ran scored the equalizer for North Korea.

"We allowed the late equalizer after some mistakes, and we can't do anything about what happened," explains Japan head coach Sasaki Norio. "The good thing was that we scored from limited chances. We just have to regroup and play well in our next match."

Japanese midfielder Miyama Aya says: "We knew exactly how they were going to attack in that situation (sending a long ball into the box), so it's a shame we allowed them to equalize.

"We needed to move the ball around in the dying stages. The way we lost the ball wasn't good at all. But I don't think we need to be so upset because we didn't lose," she said.

The tournament ends Sunday, September 11, 2011 with the top two teams qualify for the Olympics - and Japan is one of them. Each team plays that day:

Japan vs China; South Korea vs Australia; Thailand vs North Korea.

The race is on to see who will join Japan at the Olympics. This last set of matches on September 11 has several scenarios at play:
  • If North Korea beats Thailand, North Korea qualifies.
  • If North Korea ties Thailand then: 1) If Australia beats South Korea, Australia qualifies; 2) any other result North Korea qualifies.
  • Should North Korea lose to Thailand then 1) if Australia beats South Korea, Australia qualifies; 2) or if there is any other Australia result, should China defeat Japan, then China qualifies; 3) and should there be any other result between China and Japan, then North Korea qualifies.
It makes sense to me. Read it slowly. And while the soccer gods are often crazy, as long as Japan fields a full team, it won't lose to China. And, North Korea, as evidenced by its strong play against Japan, should really have no problem against Thailand which has yet to win a game this tournament and has only scored once and given up 13 goals (They popped one goal in a 5-1 loss to Australia back on September 3, 2011).

By Andrew Joseph

No comments:

Post a Comment